First-of-Its-Kind System Pairs Artificial Neural Networks with Infrared Imaging to Run Small-Scale Chemical Reactions with Big Impact
Machine learning algorithms can predict stock market fluctuations, control complex manufacturing processes, enable navigation for robots and driverless vehicles, and much more.
Now, researchers at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering are tapping a new set of capabilities in this field of artificial intelligence, combining artificial neural networks with infrared thermal imaging to control and interpret chemical reactions with precision and speed that far outpace conventional methods. More innovative still is the fact that this technique was developed and tested on novel microreactors that allow chemical discoveries to take place quickly and with far less environmental waste than standard large-scale reactions.
“This system can reduce the decision-making process about certain chemical manufacturing processes from one year to a matter of weeks, saving tons of chemical waste and energy in the process,” said Ryan Hartman, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NYU Tandon and lead author of a paper detailing the method in the journal Computers & Chemical Engineering.
Last year, Hartman introduced a new class of miniaturized chemical reactors that brings reactions traditionally carried out in large-batch reactors with up to 100 liters of chemicals down to the microscale, using just microliters of fluid — a few small drops. These microfluidic reactors are useful for analyzing catalysts for manufacturing or discovering compounds and studying interactions in drug development, and they promise to reduce waste, speed innovation, and improve the safety of chemical research.
Hartman and his team have increased the utility of these reactors by pairing them with two additional technologies: infrared thermography, an imaging technique that captures a thermal map displaying changes in heat during a chemical reaction, and supervised machine learning, a discipline of artificial intelligence wherein an algorithm learns to interpret data based on inputs selected by researchers controlling the experiments.
Paired together, they allow researchers to capture changes in thermal energy during chemical reactions — as indicated by color changes on the thermal image — and to interpret these changes quickly. Due to the non-contact nature of infrared thermography, the technique can even be utilized for reactions that operate at extreme temperatures or in extreme conditions, such as a bioreactor that requires a sterile field.
The research team is the first to train an artificial neural network to control and interpret infrared thermal images of a thermoelectrically cooled microfluidic device. The potential impacts on both innovation and sustainability are significant. Large chemical companies may screen hundreds of catalysts while developing new polymers, for example, and each reaction can require more than 100 liters of chemicals and 24 hours or longer. Screening that number of catalysts using current laboratory processes can take a year. Using Hartman’s approach, the entire process can be accomplished in weeks, with exponentially less waste and energy usage. Hartman estimates that a single industrial hood used to control fumes during large-scale chemical testing uses as much energy per year as the average U.S. home.
The Latest on: Chemical manufacturing
via Google News
The Latest on: Chemical manufacturing
- Impose 1p charge per garment on clothing manufacturers to tackle ‘throwaway fashion’, MPs say on February 18, 2019 at 4:22 pm
Our insatiable appetite for clothes comes with a huge social and environmental price tag: carbon emissions, water use, chemical and plastic pollution are all destroying our environment. "In the UK we ... […]
- EPA Announces Action Plan to Address Public Health Risks Posed by PFAS Chemicals on February 18, 2019 at 4:17 pm
EPA is also exploring the possibility of requiring chemical manufacturers, paper mills and other industrial sources to report releases of PFAS compounds under the Toxic Release Inventory. If TRI repor... […]
- Sasol chemical plant opens operations in southwest Louisiana on February 18, 2019 at 4:16 pm
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — The first of Sasol's seven chemical product manufacturing plants is up and running in southwest Louisiana. The American Press reports a second plant is set to start up later t... […]
- Greensboro unveils $31 million upgrade that includes plan to remove chemicals PFOS, PFOA from city's drinking water on February 18, 2019 at 3:38 pm
The two chemicals were used for decades in products ranging from fire-fighting foams and stain-resistant carpeting for PFOS, to PFOA's role in the manufacturing process that created such nonstick surf... […]
- How Michael Major Grew From Chemist To A Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company Leader on February 18, 2019 at 3:30 pm
When Cambridge Chemical’s owner passed away ... more than 100 people at its peak and becoming one of the largest suppliers of custom research and manufacturing services to the pharmaceutical industry. ... […]
- Bucks County residents push back against planned chemical plant on February 18, 2019 at 3:23 pm
The company wants to build a 70,000 square-foot commercial facility that would annually treat between 150,000 to 210,000 tons of wastewater produced by electronics, pharmaceutical, chemical, and metal... […]
- 2019 Construction Chemicals Market | By Leading Players: Bostik, Sika Ag, Mapei, RCI, Parex, The Dow Chemical Company, K?STER, Boysen Paints on February 18, 2019 at 1:15 pm
The Construction Chemicals market status and outlook of global and major regions, from angles of manufacturers, regions, product types and end industries; this report analyzes the top manufacturers in ... […]
- TSMC updates guidance following production hiccup due to bad chemicals on February 18, 2019 at 9:45 am
Production at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) Fab 14B was disrupted last month after a bad batch of chemicals somehow made it into the facility. Now, we have a better idea of the s... […]
- TSMC hopes to make up lost orders from chemical flub on February 18, 2019 at 6:00 am
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Apple’s supplier for the A-series chipsets on the iPhones, is expected to lose out on $550 million in sales this quarter. Digitimes reports TSMC will ... […]
via Bing News